'Biggest Loser’ casting call in Mesa draws 400 - East Valley Tribune: News

'Biggest Loser’ casting call in Mesa draws 400

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Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2008 7:01 pm | Updated: 10:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Queen Creek resident Barry King said the main goal of his audition for television’s “The Biggest Loser” was to get on the show to lose some weight, but he wouldn’t mind gaining a bit of notoriety in the process.

SLIDESHOW: The Biggest Loser casting

Queen Creek resident Barry King said the main goal of his audition for television’s “The Biggest Loser” was to get on the show to lose some weight, but he wouldn’t mind gaining a bit of notoriety in the process.

SLIDESHOW: The Biggest Loser casting

'Biggest Loser' to cast at Superstition Springs

Mesa woman a big winner on 'Biggest Loser'

King, along with 400 other Valley residents, gathered Saturday at Superstition Springs Center in Mesa to audition in an open casting call for the seventh season of NBC’s “Biggest Loser.”

Everybody wanted to be a winner, though.

The audition asked people to bring a partner with them, and King said he brought his younger brother along in hopes of winning a spot on the show.

According to casting director Jen DeMartino, the hopeful contestants had to have one main personality trait: charisma.

“We get a feel for their personality,” DeMartino said. “We want to give everybody a chance to talk.”

DeMartino, along with fellow casting director Brandon Nickens, held roundtable discussions, lasting only a few minutes, with 10 hopefuls at a time.

DeMartino said they really seek out the people that can stand out against others competing for the same spot.

Peoria resident and volunteer Lesley McLaughlin, 22, said her main focus was to keep the crowd excited and hyped up for their moment to shine.

Even standing back and viewing the table’s discussions, McLaughlin could already tell who might be called back for a second audition.

She said the main focus was to inspire people at home watching the show by casting people with a strong urge to lose weight as well as showcasing those who have a heartfelt story to tell.

Queen Creek residents Maurice Watkins, 30, and fiancee Kristen Jones, 26, said their 4-year-old daughter was the reason for their audition.

“We don’t want to pass these habits to her,” Jones said.

Watkins said it was his second audition for the show, but his fiancee’s first.

“I want the lifestyle change,” Watkins said. “It’s a complete overhaul.”

Phoenix friends Dan Scott and Jeff Bagg said their families also were the main reason for their goal to get fit. They also believe they have fallen into a rut by eating unhealthy meals together.

“We joke about our weight, but we don’t want to see either one in the hospital,” Bagg said.

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